College scholarships are everywhere. You just need to know how to find them. In fact, there may be several scholarships available in your local community. To find these local scholarships to help you pay for college you may need to do a little research. In addition to using a scholarship search site such as Scholarships.com to find scholarships in your state, check out these seven sources to find local scholarships:
1. Your high school guidance office or school district foundation. This may sound obvious, but stop by your high school guidance office regularly to find out about new scholarships that may be available. Some school districts also may have their own foundation that makes scholarships available to students, so check with the foundation as well. If you’re lucky, your school may even post opportunities on its website.
2. Community foundations. In many cities, philanthropists may join forces to form foundations that provide funds for various causes in their local community, including education. To find a community foundation near you, use a search engine like Google and search for your state, region and/or city name plus the words community foundation. For example, a search for Sacramento community foundation turned up information on scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000 per year offered by the Sacramento (CA) Region Community Foundation.
3. Local businesses. There’s an abundance of scholarships out there from businesses, from your local cable company or credit union to large corporations with facilities in your town. Make a list of the businesses your parents (or you) use, frequently visit or are members of (such as a bank, credit union, cable company, phone company, your doctor’s or dentist’s office, student club, etc.) and start by asking those organizations if they offer scholarships. Check with your parents’ employers, too.
Next, Google your city or state name, a type of business (such as credit union) and the word scholarships. For scholarships related to your intended college major, add the major name to the search. For example, a search for Texas credit union scholarships found information on East Texas Professional Credit Union’s $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships for graduating high school seniors.
Similarly, a search for San Diego health care scholarships found the Health Care Communicators of San Diego County $2,000 scholarship program for students entering the health care field.
4. Local chapters of national organizations. National professional associations and nonprofit organizations often offer scholarships, but so do many of their local chapters. Visit the national organization’s website to find local chapters in your area, and then check the local chapter’s website for information (or call or email the chapter for more information).
You also could Google your state or city name, with the words association scholarships. For example, a search for Wisconsin dietetics association scholarships found a list of several scholarships from the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A search for Colorado engineering association scholarships found a list of scholarships from the Society of Women Engineers’ Rocky Mountain Section.
5. State and local governments. Your city or state government may allocate funds for certain scholarships. These programs may be run by a state or local Department of Education. Google your state or city name along with the words scholarship programs to find opportunities.
For example, a search for Florida scholarship programs located a website for Florida Student Scholarship and Grant Programs. Even if you don’t find a government scholarship program, you might find information on other scholarships available to residents of your state.
6. Websites for colleges in your state. Many colleges post scholarship information on their websites. Even if you aren’t planning to go to a particular college, that college’s website may still help you find external scholarships (i.e. scholarships not offered by the college, but by other organizations). For example, Texas A&M University’s scholarship Web page lists external scholarships for local, regional and national scholarships.
7. Local newspapers. Look for scholarship announcements in your local newspaper and on its website. Newspapers, particularly in smaller cities and towns, often post these announcements or include articles on new recipients of local scholarships.
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